Hillsboro Baptist Church in Yancey Mills welcomed Chris Grella as its new pastor July 1. Grella comes to Hillsboro from Westminster Baptist Church in Westminster, Maryland, where he was associate pastor for a congregation of 300. Hillsboro has about 90 regular attendees.
Grella was raised in Oakton and attended Virginia Tech. He holds a Master of Divinity from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he began his career in ministry. He and his wife Angie have two sons, Nathan, 14, and Joshua, 11. His appointment at Hillsboro is his first as senior pastor.
“It’s good to be back in Virginia, for sure,” he said. “This is a good area with good people. It’s attractive here and it’s growing and so you have the challenge of growth. I like that. Hillsboro is 175 years old this year and it has a rich tradition and culture.
“I have a heart for loving and helping people and reaching out to the community, sharing the love of Jesus. That’s huge and this church has it, too,” he said. “We’re very intergenerational. I think that’s distinctive. I want to celebrate that.
“The church community here has a heart for the heritage of the church, and they want to help the Crozet community deal with growth. I have a good feeling. I think God is doing amazing things with this community.”
Grella said the church plans to convert its current parsonage, which sits behind the church, into an office and to use the unfinished basement level as a youth center.
Grella said he will begin an 11-week series of lectures on the Book of Ephesians in September, reading through the book by Thanksgiving. “St. Paul had something in mind when he wrote it,” said Grella, who is entering into his new duties with enthusiasm.